What is a karmic relationship and its warning signs?

Curious about what is a karmic relationship? Here's everything you need to know about the intense bond

Hands of a man and a woman are connected by a handshake. Metaphor of rescue, love, assistance.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We've heard of open and codependent relationships, but what is a karmic relationship?

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime, and a karmic connection is definitely considered fleeting, albeit intense. This bond might appear problematic on the surface, but you have to tap into that "reason" to better understand why a powerful, magnetic link has manifested. We'll break down everything you need to know. 

What is a karmic relationship?

Spiritually speaking, karmic relationships are strong bonds with another person that are whirlwind experiences, and therefore unsustainable. It might feel as though the pull between you and the other person is almost magical, but despite the severity, you'll eventually become disconnected from one another. 

“Humans like to believe that everything happens for a reason and souls are pulled toward one another for meaningful growth reasons,” says dating coach Megan Weks. “While anything is possible, what I see frequently is people bonding over common levels of trauma, which make a certain situationship feel particularly electric and fiery.”

This isn't reserved for romantic experiences; you can encounter a karmic relationship with a friend, relative, or peer, according to Healthline. Do note that at the end of the day, this partner—whoever it might be—has come into your life to teach you something and help you move forward. It's possible that bumpy roads are ahead...but a karmic connection can also be beneficial. 

"It's entirely possible to have a positive and beautiful karmic relationship, but they usually come after you've learned to honor your own needs and have grown into a more balanced and well-rounded person," says astrologer Reneé Watt.

Karmic relationships vs. twin flames

At times, people mistakenly associate karmic relationships with twin flames, but the two are not interchangeable. A twin flame is akin to your spirit splitting in two—one soul, two people. You'll only uncover a twin flame once in your life, whereas karmic relationships are aplenty. However, they're both likely to manifest during a new chapter or a symbolic moment in your life. 

Young happy girl in the bright multicolor lights is smiling and looking away. She hugs her boyfriend gently. Only his chin and neck are seen.

(Image credit: Getty)

What are the signs of a karmic relationship?

Healthline notes plenty of descriptors of the term, and they might all seem like red flags. Before panicking, take a step back, observe the situation, and understand that there is something that the universe wants you to take away from your karmic relationship. Yes, it could be difficult, but in the end, it's meant to make you stronger. 

  • You and your partner will experience a wide variety of emotions 
  • You and your partner might feel dependent on one another and unable to break away from each other
  • You and your partner are fearful of one another's reactions
  • You might feel as though terminating the relationship is problematic 

How should I end a karmic relationship?

Like any other type of interaction, if you feel as though the dynamic is not quite right and your physical or emotional wellbeing or safety is being compromised, it's best to leave that relationship. If you need help doing so, confide in someone about the situation and ask for help setting boundaries. You can also distance yourself until there is nothing left to the relationship, even if it seems like an impossible feat.

“You can create ripples in the relationships for yourself and future generations by looking within and doing your personal development work to rise above your familial patterns, traumas, and conditioning,” Megan Weks says. 

The ending should be seen as a positive, even if it doesn't feel like one. 

"A karmic relationship can be emotionally draining and heartbreaking, however, one positive you can take from it can be that you'll establish some boundaries," says dating coach Hayley Quinn. "Exiting a karmic relationship you will know that you will never be able to tolerate that level of emotional uncertainty again."

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.